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Page Plus to no longer allow new Verizon prepaid handsets

Yesterday morning, a post showed up on the Howard Forums Page Plus page which brought some bad news. According to user Kitty Wireless, the company plans to further limit its policy of allowing Verizon Wireless handsets on its network. It won’t be a complete ban — that would be terrible for business — but there is, or will be in the near future, a restriction on prepaid handsets. The pre-packaged handsets you buy at retailers like Target will no longer be eligible for activation if they have not previously been activated with Verizon’s prepaid service. Restrictive as it may be, the policy does make sense, as it is consistent with Verizon’s own policy.

A little over two years ago, I dropped my Verizon handset into a cup of water. Thankfully, after doing the Verizon activation guide I had a handset laying around. I called Verizon to activate it, but they informed me that they could not. It was a packaged prepaid phone, and they have a policy that packaged prepaid phones must be activated on Verizon’s prepaid service for six months before it can be activated on postpaid. That saddened me, but them’s the breaks.

This new Page Plus policy appears to enforce the policy similarly. The only new restriction is that they will not allow brand new, previously unactivated Verizon packaged prepaid handsets. They will not disconnect devices currently running on the network. In fact, for the time being they have no real way of verifying whether the phone has or has not been activated on Verizon prepaid, so there’s a loophole. Verizon does plan, according to Page Plus rep Dan Pohlman, to provide Page Plus with a way to verify whether a phone is eligible or not.

This new restriction does hurt a lot, but it’s simply in line with Verizon’s own policy. As we’ve seen over the past few years with prepaid companies going after prepaid phone traffickers, carriers do not take kindly to people taking advantage of their subsidized prepaid handsets. The package you buy at Target is subsidized — the phone would normally cost more than what you’re paying. If Verizon can’t recoup the subsidy with the minutes you purchase, it loses on the deal. If it took constant losses because people took these subsidized phones and activated them with MVNOs, then they’d probably stop selling the subsidized packaged in the first place.

Again, this isn’t a major change, but it’s something to note for current and prospective Page Plus customers.